TRICARE: The Military’s Health Care System

The Department of Defense (DOD) provides health care for 9.5 million military service members, retirees, and family members through military treatment facilities (MTFs) and a self-funded, self-administered insurance program called TRICARE.[1] The mission of the military health care system is to maintain the health of military personnel, and their families, so that they are capable of carrying out their missions, and to ensure that military medical personnel are prepared to deliver all necessary health care services to any service member injured in battle.

Does Compensation Lag Behind Productivity?

While advocating for policies like raising the minimum wage and expanding overtime pay coverage, many assert that compensation has not grown with labor productivity. They claim that since the 1970s there has been a stark divergence between the growth in worker pay and the growth in labor productivity. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), productivity has grown eight times faster than worker compensation in recent years, as productivity rose 64.9 percent and hourly compensation only grew 8.2 percent from 1979 to 2013. Taken at face value, these numbers are alarming. They suggest that rewards from productivity growth are going almost exclusively to company profits and those workers at the top, while regular workers are neglected. Fortunately, the putative trend is based on a number of analytical flaws, such as comparing labor productivity of the entire economy to compensation for private sector production and nonsupervisory workers. The result is a story that simply is not true.

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